. hello there, welcome to "newsline." it's wednesday, july 11th, 8:00 a.m. in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi. politicians in southeast asia are trying to stand united in face of chnls to their region. they have talked about fending off the european debt crisis and containing north korea at a week-long meeting. we'll walk you through those issues in a minute, but first, the stickiest item on the asean agenda, an area potentially rich
with natural resources. he and the asean ministers will discuss a plan to create rules to solve disputes in the south china sea. the philippines and vietnam are at odds with china over who holds islands. a code of conduct to resolve their differences and will present a draft agreement calling for the creation of a framework to avoid conflict. china's expected to agree to start negotiations, but the country's cautious about quickly adopting the code. observers say chinese leaders are willing to accept the talks to weaken the influence of the united states on the issue. they predict the negotiations will take a long time. they say china's concerned the code may limit its territorial claims or expansion of maritime interests. now to other issues facing asean ministers, starting with their plan to prevent europe's
financial woes from seriously affecting asia. the ministers met tuesday with their counterparts from japan, china, and south korea. they all agreed to put a new regional system in place. they are building on an agreement finance ministers made in may. the system will allow the countries to provide foreign reserves to prevent sudden drops in the value of their currency or government bonds. the foreign ministers also put their heads together on the north korea issue. they once again criticized the reclusive nation's missile program. sources tell nhk south korean officials and other representatives chided the north in april and called it a violation of u.n. security council resolutions and threat to regional peace. japan's foreign minister called on participants to cooperate on this issue. chinese foreign minister expressed hope north korean
authorities will return to the six-party talks on their nuclear program now that they have a new leader, kim jong-un. leaders will discuss the nuclear and missile development thursday at their regional forum. egypt's parliament reconvened on tuesday, despite an order by the ruling military council that it should be dissolved on constitutional grounds. president mahmoud -- that's mohammed morsi opened saturday in defiance of the order. the supreme constitutional court had earlier ruled the results of egypt's first democratic election were nonconstitutional and not all candidates were provided with an equal opportunity. the muslim brotherhood, morsi's power base, came out on top on the election. lawmakers were told to seek another court's ruling on whether the parliament is legally valid. it insists it still has the
power to make laws and approve budgets in the absence of a parliament. people in neighboring libya are waiting to find out who will be sitting in their parliament in the future. officials are busy counting ballots from the country's first free election in decades. voters went to the polls over the weekend, less than a year after the fall of gadhafi's dictatorship. the choices they made could have an impact on the region and the legacy of last year's arab spring. nhk world reports. >> reporter: more than 3,000 people ran for libya's assembly. marwa hegaggi is 25 years old. she's the country's youngest candidate. >> i am marwa hegaggi. nice to meet you. >> reporter: as a physician, she volunteered to treat the injured
at last year's government demonstrations, while taking to the street herself. but even after khadafi's fall, security and the economy remained unstable. she decided to represent the youth. >> translator: for 42 years we had no role to play in politics, culture or education. the time has come for us to shape libya. >> reporter: just three days before the election, she was ready. the party leader is on the poster, instead of her. only her name and occupation are written on it. she decided not to use her photo to try to avoid discrimination. >> translator: see, someone tore this female candidate's picture. i didn't want to be like her, so i decided not to use my photo. >> reporter: someone has written critical comments on her facebook page.
>> translator: you're a leftover from the old regime. >> translator: it's ridiculous that someone as young as you is running. >> reporter: she thought lack of understanding of a democratic system was behind the harassment, so she held a meeting with voters. she told them everybody can express themselves freely in a democracy. >> translator: her explanation made me understand what an election is for the first time. >> reporter: she believes the first thing is to get people to realize the importance of the election. >> translator: this is an election for libya's future. i want voters to have a clear understanding of it so they can take the first steps toward creating a democracy. >> reporter: now that libyans cast their first ballots, after
ousting the dictator, it is up to them to build a nation where all citizens have the ability to make a difference. nhk world, tripoli. earlier, gene otani spoke with former ambassador to libya to discuss the country's transition. he's now the vice president of the middle east institute of japan. >> you were stationed in libya actually from 2003 to 2006 when gadhafi was still in power. what's your impression of how the country's first -- we're talking about the first free vote in 60 years. how do you think it played out? >> there was some report of minor troubles, but generally speaking, the election was held in a successive manner. it should be noted that the libyan election was carried out as part of their unusual difficult to set up for the mental system affecting the
public opinion after 42 years of gadhafi's dictatorship. from that point of view, i highly appreciate the libyans' successful effort up to now, achieved almost as scheduled. >> election officials will be taking some time, we're talking about two weeks before they announce the actual results. do you have any indication how the libyans voted? >> yes, more than 60% of about 3 million voters cast their ballot, but preliminary figures indicate that national forces alliance of political parties is far ahead backed by the muslim brotherhood. unlike tunisia and egypt, in libya, from the beginning, national transitional council was established by some of the senior diplomats of the former regime who felt no more loyalty to gadhafi. i'm almost sure that libya will
never be back to such an eccentric regime of gadhafi's period. i am optimistic of the future, but there will be many twists and turns before a new libya will be established. >> of course, twists and turns, as you mention, if and when that new libya you're talking about is established, how do you expect it to deal with other nations? >> i'm sure that libya will be back to the international as one of the members through its successive effort. it will operate in my time there, that the libyan citizens in their heart regarded gadhafi's unique philosophy as dazzling but impractical, so now they feel comfortable. now libya is welcomed by the international society led by
u.s. and europe. it is obvious that libya is extraordinarily highly potential in natural resources and is a most important source of energy for europe. >> that was japan's former ambassador to libya and the vice president of the middle east institute of japan. the widow of late palestinian leader yasser arafat is calling into a further probe into the des of her husband. she plans to file a legal complaint, following claims he was poisoned. she's working with her lawyers to build a case for alleged murder by the end of this month. they won't be identifying the suspect. they'll file the case in france. arafat received medical treatment there until his death in november 2004. she released a statement saying she hopes french authorities will find out the truth and that
justice will be done. al jazeera reignited the debate last week and released a documentary that shows radioactive plunomium. journalists say arafat's widow gave them the items. the palestinian authority plans to exhume the late leader's body from his grave in ramala and carry out an autopsy. getting rid of the massive amounts of debris from last year's disaster has been a big headache for the japanese government. it's been 16 months since the earthquake and tsunami, but the environment minister shrks osono says only 1/5 of the rubble has been dealt with. hosono told reporters that as of the end of june 3.8 million
tons, just 20% of the wreckage from the three most affected prefectures, had been incinerated, buried or recycled. ministry officials estimate the disaster left some 19 million tons of debris in the three prefectures. iwate had 5 million tons, miyagi over 11 million tons and fukushima some 2 million tons. >> translator: there are no plans yet for non-burnable waste from iwate and burnable debris from miyagi.
some of them show the wave sweeping away a tanker that's attempting to leave the port. the wall of water moves through the grounds and carries away large containers and other debris. the pictures also show frightened workers gathered on a rooftop. tep kuo officials say they originally chose to release only the photos showing the tsunami most clearly and apologize for not revealing the entire set. the operates in a prefecture neighboring fukushima are dealing with a problem they've never faced before, damaged fuel rod containers at one of the reactor
reactors in a fuel rod storage pool in reactor three, they found a shift in one of the more than 1,300 containers. the indentation measures two centimeters by millimeters wide and discovered similar chips in several containers. spokespersons say the fuel rods are intact and there are no safety concerns because the reactor is not operating but say workers will inspect the damage. nuclear safety regulators have ordered to check and report on whether last year's massive earthquake caused the chips. south korean prosecutors have arrested an elder brother of president bach for bribery allegations. the prosecutors took him into custody on suspicion of accepting at least 501 million
or $440,000. the former lawmakers allegedly received the money from a bank chairman on several occasions from 2007. investigators at the supreme prosecutors off in seoul had been questioning him since july 3rd. the president is serving the last year of his five-year term. the scandals going to further undermine his grip on power ahead of a presidential election in december. china's super-charged economy is losing some of its buzz. government officials blame europe's ongoing debttototototo the tra from jajanununununununununununununun. that's an increase of sho government's target of 10%. exports rose 9.2% year on year
to about $955 billion. imports gained 6.7% to hit about $885 billion. slow growth and domestic demand dragged down imports. on the export side of things, officials point to sluggish demand in europe. >> translator: both the government and companies are worried about a further slowing of our exports. >> those worries aside, china's still reaping the benefits of being the world's second largest economy. editors at the u.s. business magazine "fortune" say the company has surpassed japan for the first time in the number of companies listed on their global ranking. the united states led the list of top 500 companies in terms of sales. 132 american firms made the ranking. china came in second with 73 companies. that's 12 more than last year.
japan is sitting in third with 68 unchanged from 2011. france and germany shared fourth place. each had 32 businesses on the list. the number of chinese companies has more than tripled over the past five years, underscoring the country's robust growth. migrant workers from rural areas have played a big role in china's economic rise. most receive low wages, no social security and plenty of discrimination. one former migrant worker is helping others get ahead. nhk world has more. >> he comes from the autonomous region in southern china. since leaving his village, he has changed jobs more than 30 times. last year, his employer hired him because business was slow.
>> translator: more than ten years have passed, but i don't have a girlfriend, can't feed my suburb where migrant workers live. a clothing store opened, especially for them. a lot of migrant workers shop , , , , , , because the prices cheap. they can buy a shirt for only 80 cents, 1/20 of the normal price.
sayaka joins us now with the world weather forecast. it was sunny and hot today in tokyo, what's in the forecast for today? >> good morning, catherine, yes, it was the hottest day of this year, and it was too hot for me as well, but today the high temperatures should be dropped to 29 degrees and some rain is in the forecast from late tonight. because the seasonal rain band is getting closer to our area, right now the front has been bringing lots of heavy rain and
disputes. the philippines and vietnam are at odds with china. asean ministers want to create a legally-binding code of conduct to resolve their differences and will present a draft of agreement calling for a creation of a framework to avoid conflict. china's expected to agree to start negotiations, but the country is cautious about quickly adopting the code. observers say chinese leaders are willing to accept the talks to weaken the influence of the united states on the issue. they predict the negotiations will take a long time. they say china is concerned the code may limit its territorial claims or expansion of maritime interests. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline."